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530 views 1 replies latest reply: 15 January 2016

hi folks, my partner and myself have now been without heating for two months now, we have had numerous visits including the landlord, but alas we are still with no heat, also our shower broke down and again it has been two months, so we are having to bath which is not ideal as the boiler is a tiny one and cannot hold enough water just to fill one bath. Can anyone shed any light on this for us as we are in the dark from the landlord and letting agent, where do we go from here 

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Hi Wayne

I’m not a lawyer but as I understand it your landlord has a ‘reasonable’ length of time to make repairs to fix problems that he has been notified of – what’s reasonable will depend on the repair, the time of year, how easy it is to get parts etc. Two months without heating in the middle of winter is not reasonable in anyone’s book.

In your tenancy it will say what the landlord is contractually obliged to provide you with in return for the rent that you pay (this will include heating I expect but take a look at your document) and for as long as you don’t have it the landlord is theoretically in breach of the tenancy agreement. This potentially gives you the right to ask for a rent abatement at the very least i.e. a reduction in the rent to reflect the fact that you’re not getting everything you signed up for. You could also potentially sue the landlord for breach of tenancy if you were incurring big losses as a result.

In terms of motivating the landlord to take action, writing letters is a good start. A letter that sets out a timeline of all the issues, the rent abatement you want and gives the landlord a set period of time within which to sort out the repairs will show the landlord that you mean business. Send copies to the landlord and the agent by registered post and make sure the letters are dated. Include the clauses from the tenancy agreement that set out what the landlord must do and the ‘reasonable’ time he has in which to make repairs – point out that this has now gone way beyond what is reasonable.

This might be a useful document – you could use it to highlight to the landlord and agent that the property isn’t currently meeting the provisions on avoiding excessive cold, that you may even have a hazard given that it’s winter and you have no heating. And you could contact your local authority on the basis of this to ask them to take action against the landlord to get him to correct the issue (or threaten to do that to motivate the landlord).

If you moved in on or after 1 October 2015 then you’re protected from being evicted as a result of making complaints about the poor state of repair of the property.

If you need more guidance or level advice there are plenty of places that can help – Citizens Advice, law centres and Shelter.


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